Magical Offense A - Thinking and knowing

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Magical Offense A - Thinking and knowing

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:00 pm

This is a thread to post strategies regarding the selection and use of spells. If anyone has come up with an interesting use of a spell or wants to spotlight an underrated spell, please post it here.

The key to spell selection is knowing your opponent. This goes without saying, but occasionally, a new or magically "unassailable" opponent emerges. At this time it is best if you know your friends and have an understanding with them.

Whenever facing a new challenge, isolate one from the mob by luring or attrition. Incapacitate it and experiment. If you are in a party of fighters that rushes mob swarms, you need to convince them to stop or find another party.

Spellcasters are thinkers, and with knowledge comes power. There are ways to take out monsters faster through devastating spells or those that keep the fighters safe from harm.

A note for fighters: Fighting a mob does not save time. Real time is lost calculating all the extra attacks that are occurring from each monster that has not yet fallen. Best example of this is at epic levels where monsters with many of their own attacks each take several rounds to drop.

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Targetting and Monster Reaction

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:02 pm

Monsters, like the rest of us, seek revenge when injured.

If you follow the tank model of party fighting, and you use area of effect spells, you will die often. If the spell cannot kill the mob, they will leave the tank behind and run to take blood from you.

Area of effect spells should be used to soften up a group before a tank closes. (important that the tank doesn't charge ahead) or to finish a group of wounded monsters.

If you want to keep your tank between you and the mob, select a monster from the mob that is on the direct opposite side of the tank. He will target you, but before he gets around the tank, he will reconsider.

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How to Use a Cone-shaped Spell

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:03 pm

Color spray, burning hands, cone of cold and prismatic spray are a few very useful spells, but they often are not chosen because targetting groups with them seems unreliable.

Imagine your low level mage is swarmed by goblins. Your burning hands spell should be able to take them out, but they will either smack you silly before you get it off or dance around you so the spell hits only one or two at best. What to do?

Run. The goblins will give chase and will form a line as they do so. When you have a little bit of a lead, target the ground at your feet, just behind you. (If you use walking keys to move, you can target the spell as you are running) You will spin around and catch the entire group every time.

For some spell levels, cone spells are the best area of effect damage option, though they were really designed for game systems where spells damage friend and foe alike. The narrow trunk of the cone saves friends from damage.


Last edited by Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : emphasis added in pink)

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Stealthy Mage: How to use Invisibility Sphere

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:07 pm

Mages can be masters of stealth with a little practice and know how.

We have all seen the annoying mobcaster who casts a zinger followed by invisibility.

Stacks of invisibilty potions, and ring of invisibility are more reliable ways to disappear than casting the spell again and again. Also remember that you can make or purchase scrolls or wands as well. All of these can be used with no chance of concentration failure, should you get slapped while doing so.

Mages have low hit points in general and are best to reposition following an area of effect spell. In the event of a swarming, invisibility is a MUCH more reliable escape spell than a heal potion is.
Try to anticipate swarms and quaff before they hit you.

However, even more reliable is the invisibility sphere spell (level 3)
This spell frustrates new users and is quickly abandoned, but used properly, it turns as low as a 5th level caster and the entire party into shadowdancers!

Here is how it works:
When the spell is cast it centres ON THE GROUND where the caster is standing. Any friendly who is in the sphere turns invisible. Leave the sphere and you are seen. Come back in and you are invisible again.
Sounds great! but there is a catch. To make itself more handy, the spell teleports to a new spot on the ground centered on the caster every turn or so. The rule is, if you run back int the sphere area and you don't turn invisible, run to the spellcaster and go back the way the spellcaster just came to find the new sphere location.

Of course, repeatedly attacking inside the sphere will ensure you are seen. You must move in and out using guerilla tactics, much like a shadowdancer.

Improved invisibility, and concealment spell will make you the hit of any party, but if you find yourself being used as a buff machine with no respect, find a new group.

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Dumbcaster Dolittle

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:18 pm

Ever travelled in party with Barbarians who demand you flame their weapon on the plane of fire?

How about the group that insists on crowning you with their mind blank helm when you are facing cave badgers?

Sounds funny, but I have seen mages and clerics who waste time and spellslots casting everything under the sun as a daily routine.

Know your enemy and plan your spells. If nothing in the area has mind magic, don't memorize it.
Here are some typically useless spells:

Stoneskin in epic lands: If you are getting bashed and your stoneskin isn't, it is because your opponents have +5 or better weapons and are slicing through it like it isn't there.

Elemental protection vs things that don't have a hope of mustering elemental damage. Save these spells for foes that can overcome other elemental protections you have from items, of cast them on your summons' or familiar. (Note: Familiars get free sympathy spells in Argentum Regio)

Mind blank: Overused for fear that one might be dominated by badgers. Great when fighting dragons and ilithid, who are invariably smart enough to dispel it. Most comical moments occur when a fighter has it as a daily enchantment in a helm or other item as it has accidentally released many a not so harmless dominated party member.

True seeing vs things that are in plain sight = useless

Any short duration spell long before you see a monster. = useless

Wasting spells is not just counterproductive. It is pretty poor role play, unless you are playing a complete paranoid personality, of course.

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Intelligence: Always a good idea

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:26 pm

Wizards have intelligence as a primary ability, which gives them an advantage when assigning skills, even those outside of their usual class skills. A minimal archmage with 19 intelligence (if generated with 18) will have 160 more skill points to spend by level 40 than a character with 10 or 11 Int.

That being said, it is a good idea to take some listen skill. It is a class skill for both palemasters and red dragon disciples. Add five to be useful, ten to be amazing, and 15 to be Obi Wan Kenobi.

Listen allows one to identify monsters on the other side of walls, so if you are not running full tilt like an imbecile, you should never run into a surprise.

Knowing what's ahead and where things are allows for precision luring. It allows you to know where to fight so you won't be heard by monsters that may run around a corner to aid their comrade as well. It also let's you plan where to lay traps, or delayed blast fireballs.

Combine high listen and spot skill and you can defeat Hide in Plain Sight. The ability will still work, just not on you. Remember the listener always has the advantage when standing still. The opponent has a disadvantage when closing.

There are two spells that pump listen skill, amplify and clairvoyance.
Amplify is a first level bard spell. It increases listen skill by +20. A bard with the brew potion feat can make these potions on Noctar's realm, as reported by the Wand Witch.

Clairvoyance increases both listen and spot by at least +10. This is enough to see things that aren't stealthy long before they see you.

Remember, this trick works both ways. Beware of monsters with outrageous listen skill. (Dragons come to mind)

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General Tactic Ideas

Post  Animayhem on Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Scrolls and wands are handy for both divine and arcanists and can free up spell slots for higher end spells.

Scrolls and wands help clerics and wizards as unlike sorcerers have to use more slots to cast multiple verisons of spells.

Spell planning always a good idea and should be tailored to what you are facing. This is why frontline fighters need to stay there and protect casters so they can protect others.

Regardless of class everyone should try and have gear to lessen dependence on others.

To play any class effectively try not to go to much on tangents. If it a new class for you maybe try and go pure or maybe one other class but make it a complimentary class to the first and one that would make rp sense.

Arcanists can possess their familiars and suppliment scouts.

The most important things is to decide on some sort of formation as to who is where. Like a scout, then maybe meatshields(aka frontline fighters) Clerics, mages and archers bringing up the rear.
Try and stay in the original formation, however if the situation changes make adjustments. Scouts scout but do not go too far ahead of the party. We can all get excited but we should all try and stay as close as possible.
Remember some people may have slower connections then others. Also remember this is an international server and to many English is not a second language.
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